Word of the Day

Saturday, August 14, 2010

premorse

\pri-MAWRS\ , adjective;
1.
Pertaining to the end of something irregularly shortened, as if bitten or broken off.
Quotes:
You will sometimes see a springing hill, showing by the interrupted arch of its surface against the sky how much space [it] must have occupied where there is now water, as at Point Allerton, - what botanists call premorse.
-- Henry David Thoreau, Journals
The mineral is very brittle, and the sharp points of the tapering crystals are often broken off, so that they present a premorse aspect.
-- F. W. Rudler, A handbook to a collection of the minerals of the British Islands
Origin:
Premorse originates in botany and derives from the Latin praemorsus, "bitten off in front." Notice the relationship to morsel.
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